Repsol Honda rider delights home fans as does Pedrosa with Iannone in third
Marc Marquez sealed pole position ahead of tomorrow’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón with the Repsol Honda rider in dominant form to the delight of his home fans who have turned out in their thousands to cheer on their hero while the partisan crowd were also thrilled to see fellow Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa taking second while Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone took third.
Things are looking good for the race, although Dani also has a very good pace.
Marquez was on record pace right form the off today and the championship leader eventually set a pole record of 1m 47.187s with Pedrosa .362s behind his teammate with Iannone a further .180s back. Pol Espargaro had a very good qualifying session with the Monster Yamaha tech 3 rider setting the fourth fastest time of 1m 47.865s while Cal Crutchlow found some extra pace on his Ducati Team machine to qualify in 5th with a best lap of 1m 48.897s.
Rossi forced to battle through Q1
There was worry for Valentino Rossi’s qualifying hopes right from this morning’s FP3 session with the seven times MotoGP champion way off the pace on his Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1 and failing to stay within the required top ten places to automatically enter Q2 and he had to battle hard in Q1 to make it into the pole shootout. Rossi made the most of the extra track time though and topped Q1 and eventually set the 6th fastest time of 1m 48.226s. Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo starts one place behind while Stefan Bradl starts from 8th for the LCR Honda Team.
Bradley Smith was progressing well on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine until he crashed nearing the end of Q2 and the British rider was pushed back to 11th. Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso experienced the same fate with the Italian rider losing the front end of his bike and ending up in 9th.Hector Barbera may have got off to a fiery start on the Avintia Racing’s first weekend using Ducati machinery with the bike bursting into flames yesterday but the Spaniard bounced back today to make it into Q2 and ending up with a 12th place starting position after taking the decision to save his tires for tomorrow’s race.
Marquez and Pedrosa brimming with confidence
Following a highly productive day, Marquez said he is focusing on race pace for tomorrow. He said, ““Qualifying went very well, continuing the form that we have had so far this weekend! We have focused a lot of our work on our race pace, looking less at setting a one-off lap time and more at finding a strong pace. Things are looking good for the race, although Dani also has a very good pace, so we’ll have to see tomorrow!”
Pedrosa was also very happy with another front row start and he said, “Today we had a good qualifying session. In other races we have had difficulties because we haven't started from the front, but today we managed to set a good lap. I think that the practice sessions also went well for us, and tomorrow in the race we will be as competitive as possible. Marc is setting some very good times, so we will try to fight for the win against him! It will be important to get a good start, although the race is long and the pace will play a big part, so we will have keep our concentration on every corner."